Directed by: Roel Reine Cast: Ted DiBiase, Laura Cox, Michael Rooker, Temuera Morrison Running Time: 1 hr 30 mins Rating: PG-13 Due Out: December 29, 2009 Buy Marine 2 on Amazon
PLOT: When a marine’s (DiBiase) wife is taken hostage by some Thai terrorists who received a very good education in the English language, he enlists himself to kick some ass.
WHO'S IT FOR?: Fans of DiBiase's work in the WWE, or action junkies with cliches and corny acting already factored into their general expectations.
Praise be to George Strait, I never thought I’d say this in my life: Why isn’t John Cena in this flick? He was in the first Marine and provided some commendable B-level action. Perhaps it was the amount of exploding buildings he dived away from, but it could be some charisma, which Ted DiBiase doesn’t have. Even for a hero with the main objective of carrying around a gun and looking cool doing it, DiBiase has no presence, it's just some muscles carrying a weapon. A lame one-liner would have even done him justice to make him something. Here, his only character trait seems to be “is a marine.” I wonder if DiBiase lost to Cena in some WWE Pay-Per-View event where the loser gets saddled with "starring" in a second Marine movie.
The “knight in shining armor saving a damsel in distress” concept is timeless, and has seen some excellent days in the action movie genre (Commando). As obvious it is for this particular movie’s IQ, it still allows the chance for real patriotic heroics, not to mention a good amount of fight sequences with the number of bad guys slowly seeing a reduction. But the action here must be too inspired by the WWE, as the combat can sometimes be wrestling-level fake. There are a couple of punches and kicks thrown around during sequences that use the “martial arts” that barely imitate contact. DiBiase should be ashamed as an entertainer for throwing the same “airballs” on the screen that might fly in the ring. Story cliches in a movie called The Marine 2 should be expected, but the audience isn’t able to believe your combat? That’s a minimal requirement, and failing that mission is a problem.
MOVIE SCORE: 4/10
Inside the Legacy: Ted's Story - The background of WWE entertainer Ted DiBiase, focusing on his aim to continue his family's wrestling tradition while making a name of his own. Includes DiBiase's audition tape for The Marine 2.
Village Virtuoso: The Final Fight - A behind the scenes breakdown of the combat sequence, with footage of DiBiase and Morrison practicing on each other. Also offers a few insights about what it was like to shoot on location in Thailand, and how regular homes were turned into valuable fighting spots.
Muay Thai Fight Outtakes - Eight takes of the threesome fight sequence towards the end of the movie, four of the shots from a Steadicam, the other four from a Hand-Held camera. Exciting to see the combat scenes run fluidly with no cuts, but the clips are even more indicative that DiBiase has to learn how to throw a believable punch before he makes "The Marine 3."
Extended Scenes Deleted Scenes Making the Cut: Deleted Shots Montage Behind the Scenes Featurettes - The Last Resort: Inside the Terrorist Siege - East Meets West: Muay Thai Fight - Production Paradise: Filming in Thailand - Play by the Roels: Inside the Production
EXTRAS SCORE: 7/10
I am somewhat envious of those who like this movie, or even those who take DiBiase seriously. They who follow have been given a loaded DVD with a very decent amount of extras, especially when considering this film's straight-to-DVD destination. The extras go beyond typical "requirements," and offer some features a lot of other (better) action movies would really benefit from. The Marine franchise (I can say the f-word now, considering that there are two) is more American than most citizens. And because the first one made apple pie look like Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, a second dumb action movie should have been expected. With both films' promise of muscle dudes killin' terrorists, it seems that their main goal is empowerment. The fact these movies are bad doesn't matter. It's more about The Marine being an example America's strength, with its particular message brought home by men who usually fight in spandex, nonetheless. Audience members are given violence as an appetizer, but pride as the main course. As a whole, this franchise leans less towards "action movie" and more towards "patriotic porn." To think that this movie doesn't have someone getting impaled by an American flag is a bit of a let down (but that did happen in The Patriot). Something as burly as this may attempt to represent our overall strength, but now that it has been court-martialed to straight-to-DVD, at least we don't have to worry about it exemplifying what gets the honorable silver screen treatment in the good ol' U.S of A.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10